Thursday, August 15, 2013

Hearts the Universal Symbol of Love

This topic was not my intention today, but I found an antique cookie cutter with the Heart and Hand symbol that I have had for many more yearns than I want to remember. My own art work has often been the subject of hearts.Where does this fascination come from?

The organ, which is located in the center of one's body and sustains life by constantly beating, has been exalted in discussions on Papyrus and documented around 1500 B.C. Every culture and religion throughout time , has always considered the Heart as symbolic.

Over the years the shape has changed, and evolved to what we recognize today. The Egyptians have been credited with bringing the heart shape to Europe in the 6th century A.D. and many Christian religions have used the heart, the heart with flame or the bleeding heart, Have you heard the saying "my heart bleeds for you"?

We see this symbol, somewhere every day, perhaps we wear it as jewelry. In the 18th c. it was the constant motif of the Folk Art Artist, who used it on all objects, signifying  Life, Love and Sorrow.  In 1984 a wonderful book was written by Cynthia V.A. Schaffner and Susan Klein. It is titled "Folk Hearts" a Celebration of the Heart Motif in American Folk Art. I am not even sure this book is still in print. today, but if you love Hearts and  American Folk Art and you should see this book, grab it and don't let it go. It will warm your heart! Valentine's day, or any day there will be a hjärta ( the Swedish word for heart) in your future.

Some examples

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